Petitioning International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors

End the use of the “Human Black Target” at shooting ranges

Young black men are three times more likely to be shot by trained shooters than their white peers. There’s a disturbing potential correlation -- the most popular target for shooters to learn to use their firearm is a black silhouette.

An academic study published by University of Illinois researchers drew together findings from 42 different studies on trigger bias to examine whether race affects how likely a target is to be shot. The study’s principal researcher, Yara Mekawi, found that people were “quicker to shoot black [African American] targets with a gun relative to white [Caucasian] targets with a gun. And...people were more trigger-happy when shooting black targets compared to shooting white targets.”

Shooters weren't just faster to fire at black targets; they were also more likely to fire at a black target.

We are calling on the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors to update and modernize the instruction and teaching techniques being used to train the majority of law enforcement officers by taking into account recent research on trigger bias.

Our end goal is to eliminate the use of the most popular target for shooters when learning to use their firearm: a black silhouette. There should be #NoMoreBlackTargets in shooting ranges, permitting, and instruction environments, or anywhere someone is learning to use a firearm.

Unconscious bias can be deadly, and we need to fight the deadly epidemic of gun violence towards black people. Getting rid of black targets at shooting ranges and replacing them with variations of of more diverse target designs, changing from the negative stimulus shown in the study above.

No More Black Targets” -- a collective of artists, diverse in backgrounds, ethnicities and nationalities, working in paint, digital media, pattern making and also physical installations to bring new artwork to life -- stand for a world where there is more paint and less hate.

Visit nomoreblacktargets.com to create your own artwork and share.

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  • International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors

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